As we inch ever closer to the rumored October 14 (or 15) unveiling for Android 4.4 KitKat, we’re seeing more and more leaks detailing the update. Today, we got our most in-depth look at KitKat yet, giving us a great idea of just what kind of changes Google has in the works.
Leaked by TuttoAndroid, the Italian blog seems to have gotten its hands on a bona fide Nexus 5 running the latest unreleased version of Android. According to the blog, there are a lot of visual changes, but that’s not at all. Google is adding some new functionality to KitKat as well, including at least one really cool change coming to Google Now. Here’s an easy to digest rundown:
- The notification bar is now transparent, and features white icons.
- The navigation bar is transparent as well.
- Also transparent, the app drawer.
- Widgets are gone from the app drawer, now available with a long press (again).
- The messaging and gallery apps are gone, replaced by Google Photos and Hangouts.
- There’s a new phone icon.
- You can access the camera from the lock screen by pulling a small camera icon left.
- There are dots showing you which homescreen you’re on.
- You can add more than 5 homescreens.
- The new icon for the app drawer matches the Google Now bar.
- There are several new wallpapers.
- KitKat borrows its boot animation of the Google Play S4 and One.
- You can say “OK, Google” from the homescreen to activate Google Now.
As you can see, a lot has changed. And that’s just from a quick hands-on of a possibly unfinished release. Google has kept the same overall look of Android from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean, but has managed to breathe new life into what some were starting to consider a bit stale. The new homescreen looks absolutely gorgeous, and the added ability to call up Google Now like on the Moto X is killer.
TuttoAndroid also threw out some information on the Nexus 5 it has running KitKat, and seems to be impressed. Noteworthy details include a bright vivid display (previously referred to as dull and washed out by another leaker), it’s more squared-off, lighter and faster than the Nexus 4, the rear-facing stereo speakers sound great and the image stabilization on the handset works well.
If you weren’t excited for the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 yet, this should help. I know I’ll be buying one on launch day, as will several other Android and Me staffers. How about you?